Have you Sabbathed Lately?
“When was the last time you Sabbathed?”
I have a confession. I’m not a good “sabbath-keeper.” As a child growing up in the Blue Law South, everything; the movie theater, restaurants, grocery and liquor stores were all closed on Sunday in observance of the Sabbath. There was nothing to do but rest. Today is a different story. For many, Sunday has become nothing more than a glorified secular Sabbath, or sadly, just another day toiling at the grind mill.
The Hebrew word for Sabbath is shabbath, which literally means to rest. The law of the Sabbath was never meant to be a burden, another bullet point on our to do lists, but rather a divine gift to the soul.
In Exodus God instructed Moses, “You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am the LORD, who makes you holy. Observe the Sabbath, because it is holy for you.”
I believe we have lost the sacred meaning, value, and purpose of the Sabbath in our lives. Many assume that if they go to church on Sunday that they have honored the Sabbath commandment. But reading the text in Exodus has convinced me that God has a larger vision of what the Sabbath can and should be in our lives. The Sabbath was created for the soul. It’s a day where the Divine gives us permission to let go of the “work” of being human: the stress, the fears, the doubts, the expectations, the responsibilities, the menacing ticking of the clock, so that we don’t burn out, become cynical or forget that we are holy.
Sadly, we live in a culture that celebrates work, labor, busyness but rarely holiness. We are easily distracted, achievement-addicted and allow our agendas and to-do lists to be our maps in the world. We even feel guilty for resting.
The ritual of the Sabbath was God’s way of helping us recalibrate the balance between the sacred and the profane in our lives. It’s an opportunity to reflect on who and what rules our time, our priorities, and especially our souls. Is it so difficult to give one day out of the seven to God and the soul?
Here it right now: Bread and Honey is bringing the Sabbath back! The bumper stickers are forthcoming!
No longer can we be slaves to the metaphysics of time and the expectations the secular world tries to place upon us. We all need rest. It’s absolutely essential to the health of our whole and holy being. We Sabbath to be re-inspired, dream, gain clarity, take a breath, heal, renew in hope, and encounter the Divine.
If you are stumped on how to Sabbath: Do whatever delights your soul! That can be worship, cooking, gardening, prayer, yoga, a walk in nature, time alone in quiet, service to another, reading for fun, or cuddling with your children. Anything that nurtures your soul!
Here are four simple steps to “Sabbathing:”
Step One: Let go of the “work” of being human: stress, anxiety, fear, doubts, hurts, to-do lists, expectations, responsibilities. And instead carve out sacred time that is designed as “holy-other” than your normal routine!
Step Two: Offer up Gratitude for where you are right now in your life.
Step Three: Create a Sabbath ritual that signals to you and the world that you are ordaining this moment in time as holy and sacred.
Step Four: Do something that delights your soul.
Live in Hope,